Ground Level Exhibition, curated by Alexandra Kollaros
«Boom!» is the central exhibition of the artAZ Private View Art Trilogy.
Resembling an art playground for adults the show is intended as a not-necessarily-lyrical- ode to the mystique of art. Breaking the barriers between the various art disciplines and defying categorization, Boom! presents art that hits you in the face, framing the aesthetic uplifting that derives from uninhibited perspective.
Alexandra Kollaros, The Curator says:
Boom! is a dense curatorial –an alternating cascade of visual stimuli- that highlights the non-obvious: the pulsating harmony that breeds from the juxtaposition of opposites. I have opted for works that pertain to diverse art forms, works one is not used to seeing side by side in a presentational context. I am averse to labels, they tend to significantly constrain the artistic experience – what is of interest is the value within, what the viewer is left with when he comes face to face with the artwork. The connecting thread between the exhibition’s works is that, each to their own, they are very powerful. The show constitutes a kind of personal visual “Greek best of”.
Anna Maneta, Argiris Saraslanidis (SER), Constantine Vraziotis, Eleanna Martinou, Esek_one, Giorgos Litzeris, Giorgos Tserionis, Ismini Bonatsou, Kostas Lavdas, Manolis Iliopoulos (Rtmone), Mariana Cute, Nadia Stasinou, NAR, Nikos Kanarelis, Petroula Krigou, Same84, Simoni Fontana, Sofia Fotiadou
Anna Maneta was born in Athens in 1966. She studied Painting at the Athens School of Fine Arts (1984-90) and the Facultad de Bellas Artes - Universidad de Barcelona, Spain (1992-93). She lives and works in Athens.
Anna uses different kinds of media, as well as personal documents related to her travels (from passport copies to bus tickets and receipts) to compose her personal visual language. Set in a different Place and common Time context, her painting focuses on the universal needs and eternal questions of human beings, regardless of their political, cultural, religious or otherwise differences. Places and world events, as well as everyday scenes mix up on her World Map, until they eventually lose their geopolitical significance in Time.
ARGiRIS SARASLANIDIS, aka. SER
Argiris Saraslanidis was born in Thessaloniki, where he studied graphic design and comics. Considered the Old Master of Greek Street Art SER is one of the pioneers of the Urban - Street Art Scene of Greece, largely responsible for its formation. His work - a curiously eclectic blend of old school graffiti, comic culture and pop surrealism - has a dark undertone yet is highly satirical, employing an arsenal of monstrous but benign characters, to highlight and comment on the absurdity of human nature. Large part of his recent work is intensely political, cauterizing in particular the current Greek socio-economic situation, without ever losing his sense of humour. SER's work is all over Greece, in the form of large-scale murals, paintings placed in important collections, and commercial work, created in association with major local and international brands. He has participated in numerous exhibitions, museum shows, graffiti & street art festivals and art fairs, in Greece and abroad.
Constantine Vraziotis was born in Trikala. With a background in fashion design, he originally gained recognition in the field of illustration, working with some of the world’s leading magazines and publishing houses. Constantine’s art, revolving around his iconic female heroins, fuses pop elements with traditional techniques and is informed by disparate sources, most notably the urban landscape, high fashion, and Byzantine iconography. At times lavish and decadent, at times ironic and uplifting, his paintings, feature meticulous detailing and concealed, quirky elements that add subcontext to his visual narratives. His artistic signature can most accurately be described as macabre pop surrealism. Constantine is currently working on his first series of signature limited edition products, launching in December 2014.
Eleanna Martinou was born in 1981 in Athens, where she lives and works. She studied painting at the Athens School of Fine Arts (2002 – 2006), graduating with an MA in the Arts (2009). She has exhibited solo and in group exhibitions in Greece, Cyprus, Spain, Mexico, Croatia, France, Turkey and Latin America. She has also worked on stage design and book illustrations. Eleanna is attempting a mapping of chaos through artistic means. In Private View she is presenting works from the Future Cities series, a body of work investigating the mesh. Through superimposed layers of color and materials she creates a trail connecting unknown travelers and destinations. This wandering is documented by the structuring of a space, whether via 3-D compositions, painting or digital media.
Esek_one was born in Athens. As a youngster he becomes familiar with hip-hop culture, which turns out to be a major influence in his artistic development. In 2001 he makes his first steps in graffiti, a genre that he engages with until today, although he currently specializes in urban interventions, adding a bit of character to tired city locales. Esek_one’s style is rather impossible to classify – the artist seems to be in a league of his own. Awkwardly childlike, his works are passionate visual narratives, capturing the essence of life and reconstructing the spectrum of human emotions, after carefully having thrashed them. The artist uses a wide array of materials and methods, displaying a fondness for found objects and humble materials, to construct his visual compositions that overflow of existentialist angst. Naive yet highly sophisticated, Esek_one’s works thrive in their inherent contradictions, directly challenging the viewer to confront his innermost feelings.
George Lintzeris was born in 1966 in Athens, where he lives and works. He is an active member of the art scene since 1992, having presented eight solo exhibitions and participated in numerous group shows in Greece and abroad. He also works as a scenographer and teaches set and costume design. Born and bread in the heart of the city, he draws inspiration from the urban surroundings and his works act as narratives of his personal urban experience. His expressive repertoire is vast, and his art skillfully combines disparate references, resulting in the creation of a hybrid post-pop visual signature, abound with socio-political innuendos. The first layer of his works has to do with appearance and image but beneath the surface lies a multitude of notes and comments on the contemporary experience. The sculptural body of works he presents in Private View is a comment on the evolution of memory and knowledge.
Giorgos Tserionis was born in Athens, in 1967, where he lives and works. He studied Graphic Arts at the Vakalo School of Art and Design (1988 - 1991) and furthered his studies in Painting, Sculpture and History of Art at the School of Art and Philosophy (1991-1995). Group exhibitions (selection): Similarities: Version of a Portrait, Benaki Museum, Athens (2004), Collage/cut,paste, State Museum of Contemporary Art,Costakis Collection(2008), ART ATHINA 9,Athens(2009), Unexpected Expedition-Remap 2 (parallel programme to Athens Biennalle), Athens (2009), Art-Athina 10, Athens (2010), (2012), Artistic project “Sotiria”,Sotiria hospital, Athens (2010), 7th Berlin Biennalle, Berlin (2012), Boiling Point, Kunstlerhaus,Wien, 2012, Extraversion, Sismanoglio Megaro, Instabul, (2012), Persona non grata, Art Athina 2013,Athens(2013), Thrills and chills, Art Athina 2013, Athens(2013), White House Biennial, Athens (2013), That is not an image, CAN gallery Athens, (2013), Lustlands, Ermioni, (2013), “Tradition-Reversal”, State Museum of Contemporary Art, Warehouse B1 (port area) ,Thesalloniki, (2013). His artworks can be found at the following public collections: Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, Benaki Museum, Florina Museum of Modern Art, Citibank Collection, Kopelouzos Colection, ACG Art of The American College of Greece, Alpha Bank collection, Μunicipality of Elefsina collection, State Museum of Contemporary Art /Costakis Collection and private collections. He is co-founder and member of the Greek artist run group PROVO PRINCIPLES(2011-…)
Ismini Bonatsou was born in Kefallonia in 1964. She studied painting at the Athens School of Fine Arts (1986-1991), followed by post-graduate studies at the Facultad de Bellas Artes, Universitat de Barcelona with a scolarship from the Spanish Government (1993-1994) and the Architectural School of the NMP (2010-2012). She has presented 10 solo exhibitions on Greece, Belgium and Spain and participated in group shows in Greece, Belgium, Spain, Holland, Austria, France, Cyprus, Turkey, Ecuador and China. Her painting is, with very few exceptions, anthropocentric. Central to her narrative is the female form, usually placed within an aperspective background, in dialogue with herself, with other figures, with childlike doodles and eventually, whether explicitly or implicitly, with History of Art itself.
Kostas Lavdas is a painter, trained as an iconographer, with part of his artistic descendance rooted in Byzantine painting. As far as visual language goes, the structure of his work steps on the deep painting tradition of the east. Stylistically however, it alludes to pop culture, lowbrow, anime and street art. Curiously balancing between iconography and street art, his works have a retro-contemporary feel about them. Drawing mostly from situations that he experiences intensely, he is particularly fascinated with the interaction between the two sexes, the way relationships form as a result of everyday situations, under the pressure of daily life, and the battle between different personalities, dreams and aspirations. Rather than using canvases, he prefers to paint on salvaged wood and objects found on the street, giving them a new life, also injecting the artworks with the personality of the objets trouvés. He is a self-proclaimed pessimist, who never loses his hope.
MANOLIS ILIOPOULOS (a.k.a. RTMONE)
Manolis Iliopoulos was born in 1984 in Patras. He studied Architecture at the University of Thessaly. He is active in graffiti & street art, having left his mark in London, Istanbul, Berlin and all over Greece. His work has been exhibited internationally and published in street art, illustration and architecture magazines and books. He currently lives in Athens and works as a freelance illustrator. He is a founding member of Imaginary Rooms, a creative collective organizing various interactive initiatives in order to awaken imagination, creativity and productivity in adults and children alike. As a result of experiencing contemporary Athenian living, his personality has developed into two radically contradicting aesthetic and conceptual aspects: the hard, black & white one and the one tat is naive, positive and colorful; The two different personas are also manifest in his artistic practice.
MarianaCute was born in Athens, in 1977, where she lives together with her cats. She works all over the place, never missing the chance for a creative getaway. Her art draws from a fantasy world located inside her head, but is also largely inspired by the world of advertising, branding and society’s consumerist mentality. She is a street artist, with an emphasis on the literal «street» aspect: she is passionate about creating works either in situ or with the purpose of leaving them on the streets. She is partial to large scale works and prone to exuberant statements. Mariana’s work is positively optimistic; her characters usually emerge in awkward locations (from building sites to remote beaches) and love to interact with people.
Nadia Stassinou was born in 1980 in Athens. She studied graphic design and is a self-taught character designer and a passionate doodler. Transforming short stories into abstract character designs is her secret power.She operates as a freelance graphic/character designer and illustrator, teaches doodling workshops and collaborates with the Imaginary Rooms creative collective. She has presented a solo exhibition and participated in group exhibitions in Greece and Paris. She is particularly interested in the "Ηuman - character” interaction and enjoys creating characters that inhabit the subconscious, surreal personalities who hail from the world that surrounds us, a constant source of inspiration for her work. The artist firmly believes that aesthetics are about contribution; her heroes come to life with the sole purpose of causing endorphin production: provoking a smile. Interacting with people is what interests and informs Nadia’s artistic practice.
NAR was born in Russia in 1982. He moved to Greece in 1991, where he currently lives and works. His first contact with art occured at the age of 13, when he begun exploring his hand in Street Art. Employing a wide array of diverse, often unorthodox, techniques and armed with an arsenal of unexpected materials, typically collected from the streets, NAR creates visual imagery that encourages alternate interpretations of elements, forms and words, forcing the viewer to re-evaluate what he thinks is already familiar to him. The artist approaches his findings with delicate lyricism and a keen sense of experimentation, eventually reincarnating the trite into precious. Carrying a strong poetic undertone, his works embody bold visual statements, acting as vehicles conveying messages and comments on the daily urban experience.
Nikos Kanarelis was born in Athens in 1975, where he currently lives and works. He studied painting at the Athens School of Fine Arts, between 1999 – 2004, and in 2010 finished ASFA’s post-graduate studies. He has presented three solo exhibitions (quite life, 2014, Elika Gallery / Déjà vu, 2005 and The Public gets what the public wants, 2009, Loraini Alimantiri Gazonrouge Gallery) and participated in numerous group exhibitions in Greece and abroad. Kanarelis’s practice develops in superimposed fields, in respect to both his expressive repertoire and the spiritual content and context of his oeuvre. The study and research of art history is, ever since the begining, a core element of his artistic practice.
Petroula Krigou was born in 1986 in Athens, where she lives and works. She studied Fine Art at Kent Institute of Art & Design and Κingston University. While in the UK she created her first interactive street artworks, planting illustrated works carrying messages in the streets, attempting some form of urban communication. Upon her return to Greece she started developing installations and works centered around memory and the city, creating «paper» spaces, provoking the viewer to a visual game. She is the founder of the Little rocks group – a team active in creative upcyling: the process of turning useless findings into applied art and artworks.
Same84 was born in 1984 in Athens. At the tender age of 12 he started experimenting with graffiti art in the streets of Athens, a passion that throughout the years developed into full time activity. Same84 is quite prolific in his art and accomplished in different forms including painting, street art, illustration and graphic design. He is at his best however when working in large scale; His murals and public art projects, both local and international, bear testimony to that. The interplay between colour and shape is what mostly characterises Same84’s recognizable style. The artist employs a bold and ultra colorful pallette and is masterful at creating painterly renditions of graphic elements, resulting in an hybrid form between figurative and abstract graffiti.
Simoni Fontana was born in Corfu. She studied art conservation after which she begun acquainting herself with Street Art. Her style is characterized by an almost childlike innocence and is equally effective on tiny canvases as it is on giant murals. Her references draw from Japanese iconography and manga, filtered through a sensitive western outlook and her personal aesthetics, dictated by pop surrealism. Fragile and dreamy, her trademark female characters contain traits of the artist, thus abstractly hinting to self-portraiture. Despite their aloof naivety, the works have a positively adult undercurrent. Working both solo and as a duo with her alter ego SER, Simoni is extremely sought after, currently holding the title of most popular female street artist in Greece.
Sofia Fotiadou was born in Volos. With a background in business and social studies, she studied art privately and developed her style by immersing herself into art. Dismayed by the visual commercial cacophony of our times, she opts to isolate herself in the studio and compose her own visual repertoire, tenderly depicting life and all the beauty that surrounds it. Inspired by the fragile reality of existence, her paintings capture the sensical manifestations of beauty as well as its ephemeral nature under the threat of decline. Her artworks can be found at the collections of the American College of Greece, Vorres Museum, Fryssiras Collection, Municipal Gallery of Volos, Hadjigiannio Larissas, Society for Macedonian Studies Gallery, Municipal Gallery of Thessaloniki, as well as in private collections including those of Greek President Karolos Papoulias and former United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
«Boom!» is presented at the exhibition space’s ground level.